National Beer Day is not just some made up hallmark holiday nor was it invented by the big beer industry to sell more beer. This day actually holds historical significance. Not to be confused with repeal day, National Beer day celebrates the day that the Cullen-Harrison act was signed which legalized the sale of beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% instead of the 0.5% that was previously allowed. While this was not the end of the prohibition it did give many people a cause for celebration, thus National Beer Day was born.
Whether you like IPAs, Pilsners, Sours or Lagers there is something for every beer aficionado in Santa Cruz county. Since national beer day falls on a Wednesday this year we thought that we’d do the research for you, so you can spend more time imbibing in the nectar of the gods.
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery was founded in 2005 by Emily Thomas. With an emphasis on organic ingredients this westside brewery has a host of rotating taps that includes. You can find blonde Ales and interesting seasonal beers such as the Jasmine IPA, brewed with three and a half pounds of Jasmine flowers.
Humble Sea is another westside Santa Cruz favorite that was founded by Nick Pavlina, brother of our very own Scott Pavlina. This brewery is known for their hazy IPA’s. Their crowd pleasing favorite, Socks and Sandals, can be found at many restaurants in Santa Cruz.
Craft beer house, Lupulo, draws inspiration from the Belgian and Spanish beer culture. The end result is delicious tapas and highly knowledgeable staff. Having a smaller tap list than most beer houses ensures that you’ll be drinking the freshest of beers.
They may seem like the new kids on the block, due to their recently opened taproom, Woodhouse Brewing and Blending, has actually been around for several years. Head brewer, Mike Rodriguez, is well known in the beer community for creating the Mongo Double IPA.
Over in Live Oak you can find, Greater Purpose Brewing. With 30-60% of profits donated to local charities and nonprofits, you can feel good about imbibing in a fresh brew.
Capitola and Soquel
You no longer have to go to England to get your hands on a “real ale” thanks to English Ales Brewery. Located in the heart of the Capitola Village this is the spot to be if you want to hear the waves crashing while you sip a beer.
You can find Discretion Brewery tucked away on 41st avenue behind some buildings. Known for their commitment to sustainability, they’re solar powered and use %100 of their spent grain as food for pigs.
With thirty beers on tap, hence the name, Beer 30 has something for everyone. Some of our favorite things to sip on are their beer-marys or a nitro stout with cold brew coffee.
The pandemic was not easy on the beer industry but New Bohemia Brewing co was able to make the best of it and open up a beer garden using some of their parking spaces, allowing for people to safely enjoy their beers outdoors.
How lucky are we that we get to have one of the top 10 breweries in the world right here in Santa Cruz county! We think that every beer brewed by Sante Adairius Rustic Ales is liquid gold.
Aptos and Watsonville
The Aptos location of Burger. boasts 40 beers on tap and has a large outdoor area with plenty of picnic tables and lawn games like cornhole.
Located on Freedom Blvd, Corralitos Brewing co makes their customers feel at home. Specializing in sours, seasonals and IPAs there’s something here for everyone.
Fruition Brewing is Watsonville’s newest hot spot. Both family and dog friendly this brewery features a roster of beers that uses local and sustainably sourced ingredients.
Aptos St BBQ is not a brewery but they do have over 30 beers on tap (37, to be exact). Not to mention delicious, authentic BBQ. They also had live blues music pre-covid.
Beer Mule is the sister taproom to Soquel’s Beer 30. With 40 beers on tap there’s guaranteed something for even the pickiest of people.
Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley
Tucked away in the back corner of the Victor Square shopping center is where you can find Steel Bonnet Brewing Co. This brewery offers online ordering for pick up or hang out on the patio and enjoy some food from a local food truck.
With a large outdoor dining area Malones Grille can easily become your new favorite place to hang out. With 24 beers available you can try a sampling of some of the breweries in the county in one spot.
Casa Nostra in Ben Lomond is more than just delicious Italian food. They also have a Tap Room with a dozen local beers on tap. Not to mention who doesn’t want to sip on a beer under the stunning Redwood trees that surround Casa Nostra.
Just a week ago Humble Sea announced that they will be opening a third tap room in Felton. Check out Pistol Pete’s community interview with co-founder Nick Pavlina to find out more about when their new locations will open, what inspires them and more!